I’ve looked the comparison screen shots in the 1st post and I can’t see any much difference other than that which might be caused by the slightly different distances from the ground. The 1st shot is higher so includes more trees in the view than the 2nd shot which is at a lower altitude, and consequently has less trees. Perhaps the trees in the 2nd shot appear a little blurry or maybe I just need new glasses.
So I thought I would do some investigation on what is going on in MSFS to understand how MSFS controls trees, and perhaps this might shed some light on any problem.
It appears MSFS improves performance by having tree density increase as you approach an area. The theory being that the ground textures at a distance give sufficient realism of trees, so that actual trees are not required. As you approach an area of trees, MSFS starts populating the texture area with more and more trees, until it reaches the maximum tree density, at a specific distance from the aircraft. This gradual addition of trees being a balancing act between visuals and performance.
The screen shots below show this effect as you approach an area of trees. First just the ground texture appears, then MSFS gradually adds more trees as you get closer. This effect is most noticable where there is mismatch of the tree colour and the underlying ground texture. I would expect that this effect is also more noticeable the higher your monitor resolution. This example is from a 1080P monitor.
I found that the LOD settings didn’t change the tree draw distance or quality at all. I can’t see any difference in either trees in the foreground or trees in the distance. Trees were set at my default high setting for this comparison. The town in the distance does become clearer as LOD increases as you would expect.
The screenshot below was taken with LOD set at 200 and trees controlled solely by the low, medium, high & ultra tree settings. You can notice:-
- Red arrow - foreground trees - the only difference is less tree density in low compared to medium. Medium, high and ultra all see the same result.
- Blue arrow - middle distance trees - noticable density differences between low, medium & high. But a much smaller difference between high and ultra.
- Orange arrow - far distance - no difference between low, medium and high with just the underlying texture appearing. But at ultra, trees appear and the underlying texture is obscured.
So what is my point? Knowing how trees work can help when asking the developers to make changes.
I think we need to be very specific on what changes we want or what has degraded. I don’t think “Bring it back” is going to get us anything as the developers have indicated they haven’t changed the level of detail. So they don’t understand the problem. I think we need to very specific and say things like:-
. The number of trees per acre in the distance (or foreground) has reduced, or
. The quality of individual trees viewed close up (or in the distance) has reduced, or
. The manner in which trees draw in in the distance is too noticable, or
. Trees need to start drawing in at a further distance to cater for higher resolution monitors, or
. Tree varieties are less realistic, or
. Trees have been made shorter but the width hasn’t changed in proportion.
The points above are all just examples of something a developer might find easier to understand rather than any change I have noticed.
This will give them a fighting chance of understanding the problem, working out what caused it, and then making changes you want. In addition, points like those listed above need to be accompanied with screen shots of how it was then, and how it is now, showing the obvious differences. Voting won’t help if the developers don’t have enough information to understand the problem.
Note that my comparisons were done at a fairly low altitude and you may get different results as altitude increases.